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US Prepares To Sue Libyans For Lockerbie Attack


The police officers are looking at the wreckage of the American airline PanAm, which crashed in December 1988 in a bomb explosion over Scotland. (AFP)

Thirty-two years ago, 270 people were killed in a PanAm aircraft bombing. The US authorities want the alleged bomb to face court.

The US wants to bring another suspect to justice in the Lockerbie case. Attorney General William Barr said on the 32nd anniversary of the attack in Washington that it was a former Libyan secret service employee who is said to have built the bomb for the attack. The man is in custody in Libya.

The US government will ask the Libyan leadership to extradite him so that he can be tried in the US. Mr. Barr said he was optimistic that the Libyan government would comply with the request. At last this man responsible for the killing of Americans and many others are going to be brought to justice for his crimes, said the outgoing Attorney General.

Mr. Barr had announced allegations against two Libyan intelligence officers who were allegedly responsible for the attack almost 30 years ago as the then acting Justice Minister. A US airline PanAm jumbo jet crashed into the Scottish village of Lockerbie on December 21, 1988. 270 people died in the attack, including eleven villagers. The aircraft was on its way from London to New York at the time. 190 Americans were on board. Mr. Barr said the attack was clearly directed against the United States.

$ 2.7 billion in compensation

So far there has only been one conviction in the case: the Libyan secret service officer Mr. Abdel Bassit al-Megrahi. He was released early from Scottish custody in 2009 because doctors had certified that he had a life expectancy of just a few months. In 2012 he died of cancer. His relatives appealed posthumously. The appeal process is ongoing. Another suspect from Libya was acquitted at the time.


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